Maybe we should start asking ‘How can God love us yet hate our sin?’
"Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner" Is Not Biblical?
The closest thing to it in scripture is;
Jude 1:22-23 NIV Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
When a watching world says Christians are hypocrites full of hate, it’s not really a good approach to say we love them, but we hate what they’re doing. Yes, this Christian cliché sounds good and virtuous but it often ends up being more beneficial to the person saying the words than the person hearing them. It gets us off the hook of having to have hard conversations or putting ourselves in the other person's shoes.
To the person who thinks that they are doing the loving, it feels very generous, but to the person hearing the words, it feels like judgment and condemnation. The phrase implies, “I’m a good person because I am showing you love in spite of your sin.” It's conveniently placing ourselves in superiority over the "sinner". It's like writer Beth Woolsey, says “We will love you BUT we will call you Sinner and watch you carefully to determine which of your actions are Sin so we can call you out and Hate those things.”
Jesus called this hypocritical;
Matthew 7:3-5 NIV “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
The Bible never gives us permission to judge others or their sin. In fact, when we judge others, we are sinning in the eyes of God because when we sit in judgment on the sins of others, we are playing God, and that is idolatry. God is the only one with the ability to judge someone’s sin and do it without ill will. God told us to love our neighbors as ourselves and if we are looking at other's sin, we stop seeing them as a neighbor and we see them through the lens of their sin.
Matthew 22:34-40 NIV Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
As Christians and human beings, we are incapable of loving perfectly, and we can't hate perfectly either. Only God can do that;
2 Peter 3:9 NIV The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
So How Do We Hate Sin?
We hate sin by taking our eyes off the person in front of us and taking a good hard look in the mirror. How about us saying "Hating my own sin is a full-time job. How about you hate your sin, I’ll hate my sin, and let’s just love each other!”
So how do we love others without condoning their sin? We recognize sin for what it is. We refuse to take part in sin, refuse to accept it, and we pray for others because we know sin leads to death.
We love others by showing them respect and dignity as human beings that God loves so deeply. We love them, we pray for them, and we witness to them through our words and actions.
In other words, we give grace and love the person exactly where they are, but we love them enough not to leave them there. We extend grace to them because of the grace God extended to us because grace lets the Holy Spirit work through us to show the person in front of us understanding and love, instead of judgment.
No, “Hate the sin and loving the sinner” isn’t Biblical. Our job is to show mercy while having a healthy respect for God.